Sunday, December 14, 2014


Have you heard that OSHA is moving away from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to Safety Data Sheets (SDS)?  Lab Out Loud, the NSTA podcast, had a great podcast about it.  On the page there are also several other resources.  Another great resource comes from Flinn Scientific.  They have a great site that provides free online safety training.  On the site there is a link to the GHS training.  This will go over the important information about the transition.

By December 2013 school were supposed to provide training to all teachers and staff about the transition.  Just in case your school didn't, the Flinn training only takes 20 minutes and provide you with a Certificate of Completion for your records.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bird Brain Science - science meets the common core

BirdBrain Science is a website that allows you to provide your students with common core based science readings that you can differentiated based on their reading level.  Most articles will adjust anywhere from 3rd to 8th grade.  In addition, the students can have the articles read to them.  At the end there is a short quiz.  The quiz questions, types and length, vary depending on what grade level they were assigned.  At the end you can review reports of your students' program.

Below is a short video to explain the site a little more.

Follow this link to participate in a pilot to access this site for free.

What ways do you incorporate reading into your classroom?

This post is cross posted on my other blog The Tech Savvy Science Teacher.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

How to follow this blog

I know that many people use Bloglovin to follow the blogs they read, so I wanted to make things easy for those who do.  So, here's your link to follow me.

If you use another RSS reader, there is a link to the right to follow my blog.

Sample NGSS assessment tasks

Achieve, the company involved in developing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), has released some sample assessment tasks.  You can see several middle and high school tasks.  They are aaligned with both the NGSS and Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS).  Whether or not your state has adopted the NGSS, I think it's a good idea to take a look at them.  The NGSS has a great way of approaching science that some teachers aren't used to.  If you aren't, or even if you are, familiar with this method be sure to check out these assessment tasks.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Physics Quest: Spectra's High Intensity

PhysicsQuest: Spectra's High Intensity

Registration is now open for this year’s PhysicsQuest kits!

Register now for the upcoming PhysicsQuest, Spectra: High Intensity. Miss Alignment has broken out of jail and is on the loose hatching evil plans. Armed with a high IQ, an inferiority complex, and a secret lair, she will try yet again to control the town. Your students can help Spectra, her gang, and her new friend the Quantum Mechanic stop Miss Alignment’s focus on evil.
In celebration of the International Year of Light, this kit will have all of the equipment needed to teach students about bending light, spherical lenses, how color and energy are related, and how the sun’s light also carries heat. As the students do these activities, they will be applying all the skills they need to help our superheroes prevent Miss Alignment’s attempted town domination.Register now for your FREE PhysicsQuest kit!
We will be sending out the Spectra: High Intensity kits (for free) in early January. If you would like to purchase last year’s kit, Spectra’s Quantum Leap, please visit our online store.

Information about this year’s PhysicsQuest kit can be found on the PhysicsQuest web page.
For more information about the overall program, please visit the PhysicsQuest About Page.

If you have questions or comments about PhysicsQuest, please contact:
Becky Thompson, PhD
Head of Public Outreach
American Physical Society

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bill Nye Worksheets

Bill Nye Worksheets

If your middle school kids are anything like my middle school kids, they love watching Bill Nye the Science Guy.  I try to show the movies as much as I can because I know the kids like it and I think it's nice to have material presented to them in a different way.  I usually just show them the movie and that's was it, but I found this site that has worksheets to go along with the Bill Nye videos.  The site from Star Materials.  The worksheets are not anything fabulous, but just enough to make sure that the kids are paying attention during the movie.  It also gives you a good follow up to the movie and a closure to the lesson.

This post is cross-posted in my other blog The Tech Savvy Science Teacher.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Big Blogger Giveaway!

I'm so excited to participate in my first giveaway!! Check out all of the great bloggers participating and be sure to enter the rafflecopter below!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 31, 2014

Cell Theory and Early Life Stations

As you may know from a previous post of mine, I have been using stations with my middle school students.  My second attempt at stations focused on cell theory and early life.  Below are the resources that I used and links to download them.

Cell Theory Brochure
This activity can be found on TPT.  It had a rubric associated with it, but I didn't use that part as I wasn't planing on giving it it's own grade.

Cell Theory/Early Life Notes and Powerpoint
Each student had a copy of the cloze notes and they watched a screencast that I made of the powerpoint.  This activity can be found on TPT and Syllabuy.

Cells Brainpop
I love BrainPop and so do my kids!  I had them watch this BrainPop video on cells (which happens to be free for those of you who don't have a BrainPop subscription).  You can find it here.  It has a quiz at the end that I ask the students to take and then we go over the results.  You can print out the quiz ahead of time if you prefer.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Large Printable Periodic Table

When I teach the periodic table to my Chemistry students I always photocopy a periodic table for them to keep in their binders. The problem is that the iformation on the table is often too small for them to see. I just came across this site where you can print a legal sized and 2 page landscape view of a periodic table. I am totally saving this in my files!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Science Themed Period Labels and Welcome Posters

I just updated and uploaded two printables that I've been using in my classroom this past year.  As with all good things, I want to share them you!

The first are welcome posters.  This year I put the 7th and 8th grade ones on my door for the month of September.  My school and 6-12, but my classroom happens to be near the high school rooms and I wanted my students to feel welcome in my room.  I cut them out and laminated them.

The second are period labels.  They are lettered and numbered as I know some schools use letters for their periods.  Mine did last year, but this year we switched to numbers (very confusing for all).

Teacher's Notebook Sale

For those of you who are looking for some new classroom resources and want a good price, Teacher's notebook will be having a big sale at the end of October and you'll get double rewards (to be used towards future purchases)

Where do you like to go for classroom resources?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

My First Attempt at Stations - Characteristics of Life

This year I am attempting stations in my middle school science classroom in an effort to differentiate and be able to work in small groups with students more.

This lesson took two days as students rotated through 4 stations answering the question What is Life? and learning about the need and characteristics of living things.

1. One station included the students watching a screen cast video that I made of the "What is life?" power point.  While watching the video the students followed along and filled in a set of close notes.  You can find this resource here or here.

2. Another station was a foldable that was a mnemonic device to remember the characteristics of life.  This resource can be found here.

3. Task Cards were at the third station.  Here there were a set of cards and the students needed to identify them as living or non-living.  This resource can be found here.

4. A worksheet was the fourth station.  At this station the students needed to identify each object as living or non-living and use evidence and information from their notes to explain their answer.  This resource can be found here.

There wasn't a specific order that I had the students work in, but I did say that I wanted the worksheet to be the last station.  I felt that the students needed to have completed the notes in order to best answer the questions there.

At the end of the second period we reviewed the answers from the worksheets as well as had a discussion about the information in the notes.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stations in the Middle School Classroom
With the start of the new year I have one again tried something new in my classroom.  (I am always trying something new as I always want to make my classroom better!)  One of the things that I am trying with my 7th grade students is stations.

Right now I have been setting up around 4 stations for each topic and students take two days to work through these stations.  These stations include all of the student notes that they need and any related activities.  Right now students are working through these stations in any order in any group they make.  My goal is to, one day soon, create my own groups for the students based on their ability levels.  Then I can create some stations that are just for my high achieving students and some just for my lower achieving students.  This is my way of approaching differentiation in the classroom.

Throughout out the year I plan to share the stations that I have come up with and the activities that go along with each.  I will let you know how it goes and look forward to hearing your feedback!

Sunday, September 21, 2014


A mini-bundle on classification. This includes a set of teacher notes, a set of cloze notes and a powerpoint. This set includes the history of classification, binomial nomenclature and the levels of classification. As some schools are teaching domain as a level and some do not, there are version both with and without domain included.

You can find this item on Teachers Pay Teachers and Syllabuy.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

creating accounts on websites that require e-mail address (when kids don't have them)

Sometimes you need to make accounts for students and those accounts need e-mail addresses.  The problem is that sometimes your kids are too young to have e-mail addresses.  I found out about this hack a few years ago, but I'm just remembering to share it now.  All you have to do is to add +1, +2, the end of your e-mail address.  Then it is like the students have an e-mail address, but all messages go to your e-mail address.

For example, if you were, then you could use,, etc.  The site you are using sees this as a new e-mail address, but any e-mail sent to it goes to your e-mail address.

I know that this works on Google and believe that it works on Yahoo as well.  This is a workaround so there are no guarantees that it will work every time.

Have you had success with this?

This post also appears on my blog The Tech Savvy Science Teacher

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Creative Commons and Sharing your work

Are you sharing your work on the internet or want to use work shared on the internet?  Copyright is important but tricky.  Creative Commons has been doing it best to make it easier for people.  Here is an infographic to help you understand a little bit better.

If you want more information this document will help you also.

Do you share your work online?  What rights do you give the viewer?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Project Based Instruction using ArcGIS Online

Introducing the Free, Self-Paced, Open, Online Course:
Developing Project Based Instructional Units Utilizing ArcGIS Online

The purpose of this 5-part, self-paced course is to guide teachers to develop project based instructional units in which students analyze spatial data. Having students examine data, and patterns, and make claims using spatial data as evidence promotes learning within content areas and complements research on how students learn.
Technical Skills
Build experience with ArcGIS online as a tool for creating and analyzing spatial data
• Discover the power of using spatial data to communicate ideas
Gather and prepare spatial data for teaching and learning

Instructional Skills
• Learn about how students learn
• Develop lessons using a project based instructional framework
• Manage student-centered learning
• Create lessons that require students to analyze spatial data and practice 21st century skills

Assessment Skills
Design an appropriate assessment of student learning and conceptual understanding that requires students to utilize spatial data to communicate ideas
Align assessments with learning goals
• Examine student work to guide development of quality assessments that measure student learning

Cost: FREE                 
No registration necessary

Participants said:
Thank you for the great resources. I intend to use these as I design PBLs for the upcoming year over the next month.”

“I have been bringing GIS into my district at a pace dictated by my level of expertise. This course has done much to allows (sic) me to have more impact in my learning community”

“All components of this course were useful to me. Each provided a solid upgrading of my skills in GIS and they all added to what I am bringing to my district as it upgrades its own approach to STEM and its associated learning

Developed as part of the Examining Your Environment through the Power of Data (EYEPOD) Project funded by the National Science Foundation's Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program. Award DRL #0929846.         

PowToon - Free subscription for a year!

I have mentioned PowToon before, but in case you missed it PowToon is a way to create short animated videos.  It's a really simple way to introduce things to your students or at a presentation.  Well PowToon has been generous enough to give away a free upgrade to their premium version plus accounts for all of your students.  All you have to do is go to their site and either create an account or sign in with your existing account.  The code to use is: ToonUp5M.
This won't last for long, so hurry up and sign up today!

This post also appears of my Technology Blog - The Tech Savvy Science Teacher

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hacks for the Secondary Teacher

Make your own classroom posters

ReciteThis has many designs that you can use as backgrounds for quotes.  Maybe there is something that you always in your classroom.

Keep your markers lasting longer
 - Velcro markers to the top of your board and hang them upside down

Writing on plastic with a marker - paint over it with clear nail polish to keep it lasting longer

A roasting plan makes a great collection bin

I wish I had cute pictures for all of these, but I couldn't find any that were creative commons. :-(

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Regents Chemistry

For those of you who teach Chemistry I have a website that has great worksheets on it.  It's called Evan's Regents Chemistry Corner.  While it is geared towards those who teach in NY, Chemistry isn't all that different around the country.  It also some worksheets and activities for those who teacher honors classes and might be preparing their students for the SAT II. 

As a new science teacher, this website has helped me out so much when I needed a homework assignment or worksheet to do in class.  Some of the worksheets are better than other...I like the worksheets the best.  The lessons is a good thing to give students who are absent or those who need read a topic in a different way.  It's also a good reading assignment for the students (hello Common Core!), especially when you are going to be absent and you want to leave something substantial.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

This post originally appeared in my technology blog The Tech Savvy Science Teacher.

Monday, August 18, 2014

EarthViewer App - take a look into Earth's past

I came across this app called EarthViewer.  It's a free app for Android and iOS and as soon as I found out about it I downloaded it on my class's ipad.  This app helps to answer questions such as: "What did Earth look like 250 million years ago? Or 1 billion years ago? Or 4.5 billion years ago? What was the climate like in the deep past?"

EarthViewer is an interactive tool for exploring the science of Earth's deep history. From molten mass to snowball earth, EarthViewer lets you see continents grow and shift as you scroll through billions of years. Additional layers let you and your students explore changes in atmospheric composition, temperature, biodiversity, day length, and solar luminosity over deep time.

What cool apps have you used in your class?

This post originally appeared in my technology blog The Tech Savvy Science Teacher.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fabulous Freebies!

I know as teachers we are always looking for free things for our classroom.  I want to introduce you to Teachers Pay Teacher.  I know you might be thinking, you said free and this has the word pay in it.  Yes, there are many items that you can buy, but there are also many items that you can get for free.  I encourage you to go to the site and sign up and get to downloading some free materials.  Below are some of my favorite freebies!

Where do you find awesome resources for your classroom?

This post also appears on my other blog The Tech Savvy Science Teacher

Saturday, August 16, 2014


ChemThink is a website that I can across this year and am eager to try with my students this year.  Students can sign up for it individually, but if they register as part of your class you can track their progress. 
It's a very simply designed website, but the basic principle is good.  You can assign students various sections of the site based on what you are currently teaching.  They can go through a tutorial if they need a refresher or some more information about the topic or they can go right to the question set.  They have to get 10 questions right before they can more on.  If they miss too many in a row, they will have to restart the problem set.  The questions also increase in difficult as they move through the set.
There is also a feature that allows you to correlate to your textbook.  This make the question sets match up to the chapters in your textbook.

I am looking forward to using it next year as my school doesn't purchase subscriptions to sites like Castle Learning and this looks like is a nice substitute (you know me....anything that is free is great!).

Do you use any online questioning sites with your classes?  What are your favorites?

This post originally appeared in my technology blog The Tech Savvy Science Teacher.

Friday, August 15, 2014

I'm obsessed with Giveaways

I have recently become obsessed with teaching blog giveways and I want to share this awesome one with you!

Don't be thrown off by the fact that that the blog talked about second grade.  The first two giveaways are things that can be used in any classroom.  The first is a cute monogram letter (that you could actually use in your house if you don't want it in the classroom.

The second is an awesome pencil sharpener.  I have been entering every giveaway I can find that is offering this pencil sharpener as I NEED one for my class.

Here is another AWESOME Giveaway (you could win an Amazon gift card or a Michael Kors bag (among other things)

Another place to win the awesome pencil sharpener.

Do you know of a great giveaway?  Are you running one and need someone to participate?  I would love to be able to offer some of my products to other teachers.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Chemistry Question and Answer Game Show game

This is a questions and answer game in a a game show style (you know the one!) It reviews the topics of: Acids and Bases, Elements, Mixtures, Compounds, Solubility, Periodic Table and Atoms. It runs as a powerpoint file with clickable links to navigate around the document.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Why follow this blog?

Well of course you want to stay on top of awesome resources for your classroom! ;-)  Also, while not everything on this blog are my creations, the things that are mine I want to get into your hands.  Anytime I do a flash freebie or flash sale, you'll be notified.

Happy teaching!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Cell and Its Environment

This mini-bundle includes a powerpoint and a set of notes (students fill in the blank and teacher copy) around the topic of Cell Transport - diffusion, osmosis, active and passive transport. You will get two versions of the notes: one that is plain and one that has a fun boarder around it.

Monday, August 11, 2014

PhET Science Simulations

If you haven't used the PhET simulations with your class, you are missing out!  These are great simulations for all areas of science.  I love them
because there are some times when setting up an actual lab is not possible and these simulations provide students with the experiences to understand the concept.
PhET was Java based, but are not moving into creating simulations that run on HTML.  What does that mean?  They will not run on machines that don't have Java such as iPads and Chromebooks.  Even better, there is a page where other teachers have submitted their lesson plans and worksheets that go along with these sims; so everything is practically done for you!
They are even in the process of developing a Teach with Sims page to help you out more.  You can check out the prototype that they have already developed.

What other computer sites do you use in your classroom?

This post originally appeared in my technology blog The Tech Savvy Science Teacher.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Cell Organelle notes
The mini-bundle includes notes (students fill in the blank and full text copy) and a power point presentation on the cell organelles. The notes are included in two versions: one with a scribble boarder around them and one that is just plain. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Big Bang Theory Punnett Square Worksheet

Punnett squares are something my students always need practice with. I made this short worksheet to be additional practice for my students. I chose the Big Bang Theory theme because I love the show and I know many of my students do too. An answer key is included as well.

Monday, August 4, 2014

5 Kingdom Overview A simple worksheet for the middle school classroom that organizes basic information of the 5 kingdoms.  It's is a great way to compare and contrast the 5 kingdoms all on one sheet.

Follow me on BlogLovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


I've decided to create this blog to share resources that I come across that are helpful to the secondary science teacher.  This blog will focus on the 6-12 science teacher.  A bit about me: I am a secondary science teacher.  Right now I am currently teaching 7th and 8th grade, but have also taught 10th, 11th and 12th grades as well.  It is my hope that this site can be a resource for all secondary science teachers out there!